It has been a tough, sad week for me. Losing my little Hanks the Tank, as I called him when he first arrived at our home, I’ve found myself looking for him this week, realizing he was not here anymore. Others knew him as Hank, but I called him Mr. Hanks. He rushed to me, happy with a personal name from me.
Mr. Hanks was protective of me, from the beginning. If my husband crossed his path, Hanks rushed to stop him. Now, I ask you, just how can a small mini-schnauzer manage to bite my husband like he did so often. We tried scolding him – never spanking him, just letting him know his behavior of biting was not acceptable. Occasionally, when I could, I grabbed Hanks harness, holding him back. Never did he bite anyone else, not even the pet sitters. Two years ago, he stopped biting. If Phil startled him, he rushed to grab his pant leg or shoe, only to place his mouth on Phil’s leg or foot, but he didn’t chop down on it like before. I suppose he finally realized my husband was not like the Phil who owned him previously.
When I became the foster for “Hank” I was told he did not like to be crated. At our home, we do not use crates. We have a gated area for all of the pups. It seems to work well. I purchased dog beds, placing them on the floors so they would not sleep or play on the cold tile floors. They were demolished within a week!
Finding a stack of old pillows, I washed them, placing each inside a pillow case or pillow sham. Mr. Hanks crawled up on two of them and that is where he slept when he did not sleep with me. All of our dogs enjoy the pillows. I suppose because they must contain hair particles or our scents. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve washed those pillows, and none of them shred them. I suppose they realize these pillows are for them, our four-legged family members. Each of our pups has a special place where they sleep. Now, Sandy Bear sleeps on Mr. Hanks pillows. Sandy Bear and Hanks were close buddies.
Mr. Hanks was an interesting character. How I wish I could’ve heard the stories he held within his heart. Stories of ill treatment. Stories of fear. Stories of how he felt when his family members took him to a kill shelter to have him euthanized over seven years ago. He still had life to live, and with us, he did. Fortunately, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas saved him, contacting me to see if I could open my heart to a special needs rescue.
When I served as Hanks foster, he was adopted; however, I had dreams about him. I’ve never had dreams from other fosters I kept. One night, I awoke hearing a bark at the front door. You must understand, my grandmother gave me the gift of visions when she went to Heaven. On the night I was having a vision about Hank, I opened the front door, but he wasn’t there. I contacted the person who adopted him, wanting to know how he was. At the time, he was ok.
I realized Hanks was communicating with me, and so, I listened to every dream I had about him. One dream told me he wasn’t happy where he was, and when I contacted the owner, I discovered why.
Later, I drove to rescue Hanks from the owner and we adopted him. When he saw us, he recognized us. Rushing into the house, he ran to the toy box, picking out a tennis ball, Mr. Hanks was home!
Mr. Hanks loved the treadmill. Every morning when I stepped to get on it, I had someone behind me, ready to walk. Mr. Hanks. I have no idea how he knew how to work a treadmill, but that was Mr. Hanks! He observed life with excitement and happiness with us. I stepped off, and let Mr. Hanks walk. He was such a delight!
Mr. Hanks stopped playing with the treadmill and tennis balls last year. His legs hurt him. There were times we still played our little game, “I’m gonna get you Mr. Hanks,” and I rushed near him. He barked his happy bark, attempting to rush at me. His little, tender legs made him squeal.
Last week, he decided it was time to go. On Monday, he ate and drank. Then, his tired body rested. Tuesday morning, he didn’t want me to pick him up to go outside. He growled that mean growl he knew so well. He refused to eat or drink. The lights in his eyes were dark. I held him close telling him to fight. He turned his head away. No food. No drink – all day.
Wednesday morning, I called the vet, asking for an emergency check-up even though Thanksgiving was the next day. Arriving at the vets office, I had Mr. Hanks bundled up in a blanket, holding him close to me. They examined him telling me it was time. And so, I leaned into Mr. Hanks asking him if he was ready to go see Shamus and Shakespeare. He did not respond. His body was shutting down. My vet said it was only a matter of time, and the only humane thing to do was to grant him peace. I whispered sweet love words to him, while rubbing him. Minutes later, he took his last breath and I cried so hard.
Now, I must adjust to my life without Mr. Hanks. I am crying while writing this. How does one learn to stop grieving and move forward? Rest in peace, Mr. Hanks. I pray you will communicate with me once again soon.
I love you and miss you. I hope you send me a vision soon. My love to you always, “Mr. Hanks, the Tank!”